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Am I too old to learn?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by 509BeeRbeLLy, Feb 28, 2008.


  1. Hi folks,

    Well, the years have gotten away from me and now at the ripe old age of 44 am I tossing around the idea of learning the bass so I am looking for some experienced advice. I have always loved the bass guitar from my teen years on and have never played a musical instrument.

    I am also interested in the drums and feel I would be good at it, but at my age I fear the wear and tear on my body would not be too pretty...plus I believe the learning curve is probably longer for drums. Anyway, as I mentioned, I have never played an instrument but my 10 yr. old son is taking guitar lessons and I pick up little bits and pieces here and there from his lessons (although I don't pay attention to it to the degree that he does-after all he is taking the lessons not me. lol)
    kylerecitalnku2-2008005.

    So, can you guys fill me in on the difficulty level to learn bass guitar? Of course, at my age I'm not out looking to shred the world with a metal band or anything so that isn't my ambition. Mainly to play rock classics with an older group, or a church group and to jam a little with my son. I know I would need to practice, but again at my age with a family I won't be spending hours a night like some younger guys can.

    Also, what kind of questions should I ask a potential teacher to make sure they are a good fit for my goals, etc?

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. iScott

    iScott

    Jun 13, 2007
    Decatur, GA
    I say go for it! Playing with your son will def be great motivation. I think that would be so cool. In terms of difficulty, if you're just doing basic stuff and root notes, it's much easier than guitar. Good luck!
     
  3. bassbrock

    bassbrock

    Feb 20, 2007
    Callahan, FL
    Nah, your too old. Give it up! Life is over for you anyway, haven't you retired already?! Jeez...





    I'm kidding of course! Go for it! Our lead guitarist is 56 and plays better than most kids half his age!
     
  4. jdwinva

    jdwinva Supporting Member

    Aug 3, 2005
    Leesburg, VA
    You are never to old to learn new things and to have fun! And 44 is not old.
     
  5. youre never too old!!

    What you will be needing to do first is get some calluses on your fingers, and get used to plucking bass strings. Look for some simple hand exercises and work from there.

    like iScott said, if youre just sticking to some basics for now, it shouldn't be rocket science, but you can have alot of fun with it!
     
  6. Dmanlamius

    Dmanlamius

    Feb 24, 2008
    Folkestone
    You're a young'un compared to people I teach!

    I've taught a fella in his 70's before, who went on to gig every Sunday in a jazz band. He's still going strong now!

    Have a look at some of the beginner lessons on my blog. All the starter stuff is there:

    www.Dmanlamius.com

    Oh, and do the hand and tendon excercises!:)

    Start slow. IF you rush into things, and dont achieve what your mind says you SHOULD be achieving, you may get disheartened, and give up. With practise and persistence, you can achieve anything...

    Let us know how you do!
     
  7. +1. :bassist:
     
  8. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Do it! I'm 41 and love playing bass for fun and profit. You might want to look into a wireless set up for your bass though. You don't want to trip over a cable and break a hip!
     
  9. Marcury

    Marcury High and Low

    Aug 19, 2007
    Mid Hudson Valley, NY
    Well you know that old saying, You can't teach an old dog new tricks, but you can lead him to water... :p

    Go For IT!! Don't worry about learning curves or difficulty, just get a bass and start. As far as teachers, just tell them what you told us as far as your goals and make sure they understand.
     
  10. iScott

    iScott

    Jun 13, 2007
    Decatur, GA
    :smug: :D
     
  11. I'm 42 and love playing bass...buy a bass book for dummies and a few lessons and see if you like it.
     
  12. I'm 55 and just got my bass in November as a retirement present to myself. Don't let these punk kids discourage you!
     
  13. I bought my first Bass late last May. I was 50 at the time. Since then I take a weekly lesson and practice almost every day for an average of about an hour.

    It's a great time !!!!!!
     
  14. right on :)
     
  15. John Webb

    John Webb

    Apr 20, 2006
    Myrtle Beach,SC
    Do it!!!!!!

    I got a lot of encouragement from TB'ers 2 years ago when I asked the same question.

    I'm just starting to gig now.

    I'll be 54 in June.

    Good luck!
     
  16. corradoc

    corradoc

    Dec 20, 2007
    New York City
    Absoluetly do it!

    Playing music has gotten me through a lot of life's rough patches. Not sure where I'd be without it - plan on playing till I can;t get out of bed...

    Also, music engages all sorts of creative/intellectual faculties that we don;t get to use in day to day life.

    I feel sorry for people that think they're "too old" to do stuff. Almost like their spirit is gone....
     
  17. I am only 35, but I started taking lessons again this past year. I am learning more now as an adult. I am more focused, and have a more mature attitude than when I was 13. I think, at 44, you will pick up bass more quickly (in some respects) than you would have as a teenager. You will certainly not waste time or money buying crap gear, playing with the wrong people... you have a lifetime of experience to draw on.

    Music will keep you young.

    To address the drums vs. bass issue. I vote bass. Not because I play bass (I play drums a bit too). This is a practical issue. If you buy a bass and a small amp, you can still play after everyone is in bed. Most amps come with a headphone jack. However, if you try to practice your triplets and paradiddles on a set of drums... you may find yourself living in the garage. That being said, drums don't put that much "wear and tear" on your body. Hell, ask some of the guys/girls here about strapping on a Fender Jazz for a few hours... that monster can wear you down.

    Good luck.
     
  18. Obviously this is a lot younger then you but I started when I was 21 and when I went to my teacher he was relieved he didn't have another kid for lessons lol

    Go for it man.
     
  19. BillMason

    BillMason Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2007
    The learning curve doesn't have so much to do with the instrument as it does with the person learning it - some people are naturally better equipped for drums than others, some better for piano, sax, bass, guitar, etc. But anyone can learn *some* instrument, in my very serious but ever so humble opinion. Age has nothing to do with it.

    See if you can rent a bass and amp from your local store for a weekend and try it out. Then do the same with one of those electronic drum kits and a small amp (and get some headphones). See for yourself which you believe you have the better feel for, and take it from there. If neither, try keyboards, guitar, etc.

    I think jamming with your kids is a great idea!! My 7 year old turns 8 on Monday, and he's been begging for a Squier Mini Strat, so that's what he's getting. He'll only make noise on it for a while, I know, but so long as he enjoys it - which is how *you* should also approach trying out some instruments!

    Don't expect virtuosity at first, just make some noises, dig the sounds the instrument makes, play around with tone and technique, look at yourself in the mirror to see if you look cool, etc. :)
     
  20. nortonrider

    nortonrider

    Nov 20, 2007
    Don't listen to these guys.

    You missed the boat, at 44 You're too old to learn anything new now.
    Give it up, move to Florida and put your efforts into the front lawn.
     

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